Hermann Hreidarsson: I sang dressed as Elvis before Portsmouth's FA Cup final - and poured beer over a policeman on the parade

Hermann Hreidarsson has revealed how his Elvis act warmed-up Pompey for their 2008 FA Cup final triumph.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 5:54 pm
Hermann Hreidarsson has made a habit of singing for Pompey fans whenever he returns to Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

While during the ensuing Southsea victory parade, his eye-catching celebrations involved trying to throw owner Sacha Gaydamak off a stage and pouring beer over a policeman.

The charismatic Icelander was a key figure in the Blues’ FA Cup win over Cardiff in May 2008 – both on and off the pitch.

In a 2015 interview for Played Up Pompey, he explained the extent of his involvement during pre-match preparations at a restaurant on the Friday night.

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It was a star turn which consisted of three Elvis Presley songs on karaoke, much to the amusement of those present.

‘My first rendition was ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, a song you can dance to a little bit, which will also take the attention away from your voice, he told Played Up Pompey.

‘Then I gave it a go with ‘An American Trilogy’. Now that was ambitious, there was more laughter than applause, I have to admit.

‘We were eating at an Italian restaurant in Bray, near our hotel, The Oakley Court in Windsor.

Hermann Hreidarsson was lively during Pompey's FA Cup parade in May 2008. Picture: Zoe Shardlow

‘The next day we would be playing at Wembley in the 2008 FA Cup final against Cardiff City.

That night, though, we were relaxing, although I was wearing my Elvis Presley costume stood at the front taking part in a little karaoke.

‘Harry Redknapp had tipped me off, it was his idea, but we kept it between us so when I came out of the toilet dressed as the King it surprised everybody.

‘It was designed to take peoples’ minds off the main event by keeping the atmosphere relaxed and fun. It was a good idea, the night before the cup final we were enjoying ourselves.

Hermann Hreidarsson featured in Pompey's FA Cup final triumph over Cardiff in May 2008. Picture: Allan Hutchings

‘We wanted that trophy, nobody remembers who comes second in the FA Cup final and anything that could prepare us to achieve that victory was important.

‘So I got up to belt out a couple of songs, although not very well, with other members of the team and club staff also taking turns. It was a lot of fun.

‘John Utaka and Kanu did a double act singing Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and were actually quite good.

‘Well Utaka was good, Kanu was mixing it up trying to turn it into a rap song, shouting something or other which nobody could understand.

‘To be a part of claiming the FA Cup was dream come true in a sense – and the only major trophy I ever won during my 15-and-a-half years in England.

‘The Sunday was the open-topped bus around Portsmouth and that was something else as well. I loved those two days, great memories.

‘The FA Cup was my first major trophy in England so to be able to celebrate it with all the people who made the club what it is was special – and I certainly made the most of it, I can guarantee that!

‘People may remember on that day I was high on life, so happy, a little bit of singing and dancing on the coach.

‘It was a happy day, I was celebrating something really, really special, nothing to do with alcohol of course. I’m a happy person!

‘Really, I didn’t have that much to drink, we didn’t have a lot of beers on the coach although if there were any I definitely drank them!

‘I was probably still drunk from the night before and thought I would be part of the entertainment, at one point pouring beer over a policeman’s helmet. Well, it was a great opportunity.

‘He was actually trying to drink it as I attempted to get it into his mouth, but there was no harm done, everyone was so happy, everywhere we looked people were smiling and cheering.

‘It was unbelievable, there were people everywhere, on top of lamp posts, climbing up traffic lights, as far as the eye could see. Anyone related to the city of Portsmouth were there, nobody present will ever forget those scenes.

‘At one point I tried to throw our owner, Sacha Gaydamak, off the stage but I was in good spirits just messing around a bit, it was the usual stuff, nothing new there.

‘Harry shouted at me at the time but I didn’t really get told off afterwards, people were just in that sort of mood, as long as you weren’t being too silly anything goes. It was all a lot of joy.

‘Besides, I had the wife and kids there so I was on my best behaviour - she drove me home though!’

Hermann Hreidarsson made 123 Pompey appearances and scored eight goals from May 2007 until January 2012.

Played Up Pompey Too, released in 2017, is still available from Amazon. While Played Up Pompey Three, which contains more of your favourite Blues players, is out later this year.

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